Palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic properties of travertine: Its potential as a recorder of geomagnetic palaeosecular variation, environmental change and earthquake activity in the Sicak Cermik geothermal field, Turkey

Piper J. D. A. , Mesci L. B. , Gursoy H. , Tatar O. , Davies C. J.

PHYSICS OF THE EARTH AND PLANETARY INTERIORS, vol.161, pp.50-73, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 161
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pepi.2007.01.006
  • Page Numbers: pp.50-73
  • Keywords: travertine, Turkey, palaeomagnetism, palaeosecular variation, earthquake frequency, palaeoseismology, magnetic fabric, magnetic susceptibility, neotectonics, FAULT, ROTATIONS, EVOLUTION, BEHAVIOR, REGION, BLOCK


Travertine, the product of incremental growth of inorganic carbonate, is potentially a high-resolution recorder of geomagnetic palaeosecular variation (PSV) when it incorporates small amounts of ferromagnetic material. It grows most regularly in regions of neotectonic activity where geothermal waters feed into extensional fissures and deposit successive layers of carbonate as fissure travertine. The same waters spill out onto the surface to deposit bedded travertine which may incorporate wind blown dust including ferromagnetic particles. Tectonic travertine deposits are linked to earthquake activity because the geothermal reservoirs are reset and activated by earthquake fracturing but tend to become sealed up by carbonate deposition between events. This study investigates whether sequential deposition can identify cycles of PSV and provide a means of estimating rates of travertine growth and earthquake frequency. The palaeomagnetic record in three travertine fissures from the Sicak Cermik geothermal field in Central Anatolia and nearby bedded travertines dated up to 360,000 years in age (U-Th) are investigated to evaluate magnetic properties and relate the geomagnetic signature to earthquake-induced layering.